Man sues over clamp left in chest

Feb. 17, 2010 at 5:10 PM
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DENVER, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A former patient at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Denver is suing the federal government over a clamp left in his body by surgeons.

Richard Kellar said in his $15 million federal lawsuit surgeons at the Denver VA Medical Center left a clamp inside his body after an Aug. 30, 2005, open heart procedure, KUSA-TV, Denver, reported Wednesday.

Kellar said he did not find out about the error until six months after the procedure, when he underwent an MRI.

"They kept accusing me of moving and I said, 'No, I'm not moving,'" Kellar said. "They kept trying to do it over and over again. Finally, they took an X-ray of my chest and told me I had a piece of metal in my chest."

Kellar said doctors told him the clamp would be too dangerous to remove, but he claims ill-effects from the presence of the paperclip-sized tool behind his heart.

"I have no energy. I have numbness in my hands," Kellar said.

The hospital offered Kellar $100,000 but he and his lawyer refused the offer.

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